I construct material spaces that offer a place of reprieve from mechanized culture; within these arenas, Deities and traditions can interact with the physical world. By doing so, I create a place of refuge for myself, and others, to consider our ancestral past and reconnect to our present cultural identity."
-Zena Allen, 2013
Zena Carlota Pearl Allen is a self-taught artist who currently resides in the Bay area. In 2010, she began creating drawings for the first time in 13 years informed by Mithila art: a folkloric painting tradition of Indian and Nepalese women. She is deeply inspired by her personal research of folklore, oral histories, and the iconic imagery she encountered while living in East and West Africa as a teacher and student, respectively. Studying the music and storytelling tradition of “Jaliyaa” as a kora player (West African harp) for the past six years has placed her on a journey that is a natural progression to apply in her own art the same themes of ritual and tradition found in West African music. To learn more about Zena, go to ZenaAllen.com.